Tag Archives: collage

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks

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Late in the 1980s, burgeoning New York art collector Larry Warsh acquired a series of eight, common composition notebooks from members of a seemingly-defunct and little-known band called “Gray.” Those notebooks sat boxed in a closet of Warsh’s Manhattan apartment for more than 25 years. Now they are on a touring exhibition from the Brooklyn Museum, with stops at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, and the books are likely reaching a much bigger audience than the band ever attracted back at C.B.G.B.’s in 1980.

Of course, these aren’t just any notebooks. “Gray” isn’t just any band born in the Bowery. And it turns out that Larry Warsh is a damn good judge of groundbreaking art.

The sparsely-filled books contain years of hand-written notes by revolutionary artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and they seem to offer a peep-hole in to the mind of that unconventional genius. This exhibit presents pages from the notebooks alongside a selection of his larger compositions, providing the visitor an in-depth exploration of the Basquiat lexicon that is both verbal and visual.

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View from the Basquiat exhibition at the High Museum of Art.

Basquiat started the band, eventually called “Gray” with performance artist Michael Holman in 1979. They, with various other bandmates, played their ambient/industrial music at the usual downtown haunts, but with growing recognition of his visual artistic talent, Basquiat left the band in mid 1980. It was right about then his career seemed to lasso a shooting star and the artist struggled to hold on tight for as long as he could.

Surviving band members reunited to play at Basquiat’s memorial service in 1988 and again more recently for art happenings and music festivals. In 2011 they even released a “new” album “Shades of…” which includes cuts of  the late Basquiat’s voice and music.

GRAY – SHADES OF… from Plushsafe Records.

 

But this is about the notebooks…

View from the Basquiat exhibition at the High Museum of Art.

Since the beginning, Basquiat’s artistic efforts have focused on words and short phrases. The SAMO@ graffiti he perpetrated with school friend Al Diaz in the late seventies often seemed like excerpts of Beat poetry.

MICROWAVE & VIDEO X-SISTANCE
“BIG MAC” CERTIFICATE
FOR X-MAS
-SAMO©

Even after his painting evolved from street walls, to paper and fabric, to canvas and wood installations, these words and phrases infiltrated every aspect of Basquiat’s artwork. In fact they seem to be the actual essence of it, merely enhanced by the more visually dominant graphic elements.

Basquiat – Untitled, 1982–83. Oilstick, colored pencil, crayon, and gouache on paper mounted on canvas. Collection of Fred Hoffman.  Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

This first major exhibition of the books displays 160 pages of the artist’s personal writings, sketches and notes, accompanied by other drawings, paintings and historical Basquiat ephemera. The pages on display often reveal a kind of evolution on many of the subjects he used in his more extensive paintings, along with those iconic motifs like figures, faces and crowns.

Page from Basquiat notebooks – Famous Negro Athletes.

Basquiat drawing – Famous Negro Athletes, 1981, oil stick on paper. Collection of Glenn O’Brien.

 

Basquiat developed a unique way of using language the way other artists used paint, or filmmakers use footage. The notebooks seem to be like mental scrapbooks for the artist to collect and manipulate phrases and ideas.

The exhibit presents them as “autonomous works” and not the “preparatory studies” of a sketchbook. But they do have a sketchbook feel to them, only these sketches are made with words instead of line and shadow.

This brings me back to the Beat Poets, and Kerouac in particular. On the back cover of my copy of the book: “Jack Kerouac Book of Sketches“, (Pengiun 2006), it says:

“…Ed White mentioned to Jack Kerouac ‘Why don’t you just sketch in the streets like a painter but with words.’ White’s suggestion is credited with helping to inspire Kerouac’s move to spontaneous prose.”

Here’s an excerpt from a Kerouac “sketch” in Massachusetts.

———————–

Concord River RR
Bridge
Sunday Oct 24 ’54
Lowel
5 PM
     A ridiculous NE
tumbleweed danced
across the RR bridge
     Thoreau’s Concord
is blue aquamarine
in October red
sereness — little
Indian hill towards
Walden, is orange
brown with Autumn
The faultless sky
attests to T’s solemn
wisdom being correct
— but perfect wisdom is Buddha’s

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Many of these Basquiat notebook pages have a very similar feel…

Basquiat Page2

Basquiat – from Untitled Notebook #2, 1980–1981 – Collection of Larry Warsh, Copyright © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum.

 

Just as other collage artists like Ray Johnson and Robert Rauschenberg collected little snippets physically from newspapers, letters and trash piles, to later assemble and re-arrange in their artworks, – Basquiat seems to have been collecting these snippets verbally instead. He collected them in the notebooks by writing them down when he read them, heard them, witnessed them, or just thought them up.

While many lines are filled with these intriguing collections of phrases, and developing ideas, other pages do indeed feel more like finished works of art on their own.

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Basquiat –  Untitled Notebook Page, circa 1987 – 

Collection of Larry Warsh. Copyright © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum.

Looking closely at the intricate structures of words and lines on the pages, one can hardly resist recalling the obvious influences of seasoned contemporaries like Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly.

Basquiat – detail from page of Notebook #4 – Collection of Larry Warsh.

In addition to these rarely seen notebook pages, some of the more emblematic Basquiat works are traveling with the show. These larger compositions, canvasses and collages add a pleasing compliment to the exhibition.

Views from the show at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

Some of the most precious little items in the show are the rare mementos of the artist’s life, such as the Brooklyn Museum Junior Membership Card signed by a young Jean-Michel Basquiat.

And the unforgettable Polaroid photograph by cohort Andy Warhol.

Jean Michel – Basquiat Polaroid 1982 – by Andy Warhol on loan from private collection, seen at The High Museum of Art.

These additions provide a much wider scope for viewing the artist’s work, making this a unique opportunity for both longtime aficionados, and Basquiat newbies alike.

As notebook owner Larry Warsh expressed so perfectly in an April, 2015 Q&A article for Departures by Laura van Straaten:

“No one can have a complete picture of the inner workings of any artist, but the words on these pages give us a glimpse of the soul behind this complex, creative persona.”

While I highly recommend attending this exhibition if you can, I can’t help myself from wondering what else Warsh might have stashed in that closet of his…

Tour Schedule :

Brooklyn Museum, New York

April 3–August 23, 2015

High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia

February 28–May 29, 2016

Pérez Art Museum Miami, Florida

August 8–October 23, 2016

 

Links, Sources & Recommended reading:

 

Departures: “Q&A: Larry Warsh On Basquiat’s Notebooks” by Laura van Straaten

Financial Times: “Larry Warsh on his approach to collecting” by Peter Aspden

Gray History from the website of Michael Holman

http://plushsaferecords.com/

http://www.basquiat.com/artist-timeline.htm

The SAMO© Graffiti photographed by Henry Flynt

https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/touring/basquiat_notebooks http://www.high.org/Art/Exhibitions/Basquiat-Notebooks http://pamm.org/exhibitions/basquiat-unknown-notebooks

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TEXT AND PHOTOS BY LANCE ARAM ROTHSTEIN (except where noted.)

 

 


Vik Muniz Retrospective at High Museum

By guest contributor Karen Rothstein.

Now on exhibit until August 21, 2016 at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, is a retrospective including more than 100 photographs by the Brazilian born mixed media artist Vik Muniz.

He has such a warm and enthusiastic manner. At the media preview, he expressed his overwhelming joy at seeing museum-goers actually taking close-up notice of all the unorthodox materials he used to create his artworks. Even the youngest child can find something in his work that brings them pleasure and perhaps engages them into taking an interest in the world of Art.

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The writer, Karen Rothstein with artist Muniz in front of his Self-Portrait: “I Am Too Sad to Tell You”, after Bas Jan Ader, from the “Rebus” series.

Muniz is known for trying to create a sense of wonder and intrigue within his photography. The way he creates each piece is unique, adding a plethora of unconventional items in the process of making each finished photograph. These things that you might be familiar with in their proper place, will all come as a surprise in his art. Things such as: tiny childhood toys, garbage, torn pieces of magazines, diamonds, food of all sorts, etc…. It is easy to see the artist has a playful sense of humor. The different textures and sizes of his working canvasses make each finished photograph very unique. For example, one project included large-scale drawings made by bulldozers on a construction site, while other images were made by assembling small pieces of garbage or tiny toys and then photographing them from above, to reveal the intended scene that he pictured in his head before it all started. Be sure to watch the video in the gallery, showing how he created “Mother and Child” from the “Pictures of Garbage” series.

Vik Muniz – Mother and Child  (Suellen)  from “Pictures of Garbage” series.

Muniz often makes several works in a series, using similar materials to explore a common theme, materials that often trigger the viewer’s memory, recalling another time and place.

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Vik Muniz – “Double Mona Lisa” (Peanut Butter and Jelly) from “After Warhol” series.

Vik Muniz – “Saturn devouring one of his sons” after Goya, from “Pictures of Junk Series.”

Vik Muniz – “Vik, 2 Years Old,”  from Pictures of Album series (representing one of the few pictures from his childhood)

Before moving to New York as a young man, Muniz was brought up in a working class family in Brazil while the country was under a strong military regime. People couldn’t speak their mind and times were hard. To this day he stands up for the underdog and addresses issues of social justice, and several of the works on display express the depth of his feelings.

 

Muniz Stinney

Vik Muniz – “George Stinney, Jr.” from “Pictures of Album” series  (Stinney was convicted at a flawed trial in 1944 at the age of 14 in South Carolina.)

 

Vik Muniz – Six children from the “Sugar Children” series (Children from sugar plantation workers who played in the sand on the Island of St. Kitts).

Muniz really loves to use all different textures and is intrigued with color pigmentation as seen in his wonderful rendering of Gauguin’s “Day of the Gods”. Look close, the colors and textures comes to life.

Vik Muniz – “Mahana No Atua” (Day of the Gods), after Gauguin, from “Pictures of Pigment” series.

Muniz is primarily working in series these days, but he started out in the 80’s doing sculpture. A fine example is on display, be sure to few his Mnemonic Vehicle (Ferrari Berlinetta) a composite of polyurethane, plexiglass and aluminum, portraying a nearly life-size Ferrari automobile as a massive matchbox car.

The Artist is a true master of creativity and composition, his work has been on display the world over. He currently works in  New York City and Rio de Janeiro.

This exhibit is a wonderful one and will make for great discussion with family and friends in days to follow.

Vik Muniz – A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Édouard Manet, from the Pictures of Magazines 2 series.

The Vik Muniz exhibition runs through August 21, 2016 at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Visit www.high.org for more info.


Labeauratoire headed to Miami ArtWeek 2014

Labeauratoire is headed to Miami Beach for Art Week 2014.

Be sure to follow @lancephoto on Twitter for some live updates.

We’ll be covering several of the major art fairs including (but not limited to) Art Basil Miami Beach, Context Art Miami, and the SCOPE Miami Beach fair.

There are a few artists we’re excited to see on this trip. I’ve been following Jane Maxwell online for several years and am looking forward to  finally seeing her work in person at CONTEXT Art Miami.

New Sculptures @ Context Art Miami: December 2-7 | Caldwell Snyder Booth E41.

Jane Maxwell – New Sculptures @ Context Art Miami: December 2-7 | Caldwell Snyder Booth E41.

“The exhibitions and programs at CONTEXT will be even bigger and more impressive than in previous years,” said CONTEXT Director Julian Navarro. “In addition to showcasing a solid group of international galleries, CONTEXT is unique in that it will feature a series of solo artist projects, curated spaces, unique programming, conversations and events – all aimed to immerse and entertain our attendees.”

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We caught a great Street Art show at a little gallery in Belgium back in 2012 where the work of EVOL really caught the eye. Here’s a new piece by this innovative artist. We’re hoping to view it at SCOPE.

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EVOL, Summer TV Classic, 2014 Spray paint on cardboard Courtesy of Jonathan LeVine Gallery

“Celebrating its 14th year of introducing galleries to the contemporary market, SCOPE returns to its location on the sands of Miami Beach with 126 International Exhibitors from 27 countries and 48 cities. “

Also at SCOPE we’ll be looking for the Heineken house…

“The Heineken House is a multi-sensory experience, featuring a Live Art Pyramid as the core. Standing over 35ft tall, the pyramid features 12 massive live art walls to be hand-painted live during SCOPE Miami Beach. The interior features a covered bar serving ice cold Heineken, while the exterior provides seating for patrons to witness the transformation of this multifunctional installation.”

Here we hope to see the collage artist Derek Gores working live on sight in the Pyramid.  I recently encountered Gores at his gallery in Melbourne, Florida, and he’s also having an exhibition with Thinkspace Gallery at the Aqua Art Miami show.

“Aqua Art Miami opens Wednesday in perhaps my biggest show yet, and new directions shown for the first time. If you can’t make it in person, request a collection preview by writing contact (at) thinkspacegallery (dot) com … Here we go Miami ~ #aquaartmiami #thinkspacegallery “

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And of course we’ll be spending time at the massive ArtBasil Fair.

© Courtesy of Art Basel

“FACTS AND FIGURES ABOUT ART BASEL IN MIAMI BEACH
Art Basel takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC).
Over 500,000 square feet of exhibition space host the Galleries, Nova, Positions, Edition, Kabinett and Magazines sectors, as well as Conversations and Salon. Public artworks are shown nearby at Collins Park, while Film is presented across two venues, inside the MBCC and in the outdoor setting of Sound Scape Park. – In 2013 the show attracted an attendance of 75,0000 over the five show days.”

Art Basel is sure to be a magnificent event and just as surely waaaayyy too much to see in the one day we’ll be there. So here’s just a short glance of some of the galleries we hope to catch there:

Acquavella Galleries, Gallerie 1900-2000, Xavier Hufkens Gallery, Gagosian Gallery, & White Cube.

If you’re headed down to Miami as well, be sure to look for the ArtBasil APP for your devise. It’s a killer!

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Be sure to follow @lancephoto on Twitter for some live updates, if I’m not too busy on the beach 😉


An Odyssey of Imagery: Joel-Peter Witkin at Keitelman Gallery Brussels

Joel-Peter Witkin “Love and other Reasons”

at Keitelman Gallery Brussels

January 24 – March 29 2014

NOT FOR THE TIMID OR EASILY OFFENDED.

Joel-Peter Witkin - "Paris Triad" 2011

Joel-Peter Witkin – “Paris Triad” 2011

Don’t miss this rare chance to experience an odyssey of imagery in the photographs of infamous American artist Joel-Peter Witkin. His unmistakable style combines caustic and corrosive techniques with traditional darkroom printing to present a unique and often startling tableau. Calling on a wealth of symbolism from mythology, legend, and painters of the past, Witkin composes meticulous scenes in makeshift studios with subjects spanning the entire experience of human life, and death.

Joel-Peter Witkin was born in New York in 1939. After honing his technical skills as a documentary photographer in the US military, he studied visual art and received his MFA from the University of New Mexico. Witkin still lives in Albuquerque where he continues to innovate and build on his well-established career. This exhibition “Love and other Reasons” at the Keitelman Gallery brings together a wealth of different pictures, mostly from the last fifteen years.

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Viewing Witkin’s images is not an endeavor to be taken lightly. Many have castigated the artist and his work and even some of his fans find it difficult to look at. Witkin often uses human body parts and corpses in his photographs and the people who pose for him fill the spectrum of humanity, from the traditional beauties to the drastically deformed. Witkin himself once advertised for models exhibiting “…all manner of visual perversions…” and that is what the viewer will encounter in his images.

Joel-Peter Witkin - "Anna Akhmatova" 1998

Joel-Peter Witkin – “Anna Akhmatova” 1998

But perversion is not what Witkin sees, and those who “get” his work also see the beauty that can be found in the compositions he presents. Recalling still-life paintings by the Flemish masters, many of his photographs gather an ensemble of objects with an infinite capacity for symbolic interpretation, and like the “vanitas” of the 17th century Witkin uses these symbols to spark introspection.

Joel-Peter Witkin - "Still Life with Mirror" 1999

Joel-Peter Witkin – “Still Life with Mirror” 1999

Witkin uses his lens and his creativity to shine a light in to the darkest corners of the mind and of human existence and asks us to consider, what is the nature of life, of death, of beauty, of fear? Do we look in the mirror and see the transitory nature of all life and earthly endeavors?

Joel-Peter Witkin - "Poussin in Hell" - 1999

Joel-Peter Witkin – “Poussin in Hell” – 1999

“Hellish” is a word that can often be conjured when viewing Witkin’s work. And like the demon-filled representations on medieval church walls, these photographs offer a story that is more powerful than mere words can express.

Joel-Peter Witkin - Paris Triad: "Death is like lunch...  it's coming." - 2011

Joel-Peter Witkin – Paris Triad: “Death is like lunch… it’s coming.” – 2011

Don’t be alarmed and ask “what’s the world coming to?” He’s not subjecting you to anything that Hieronymous Bosch didn’t envision six hundred years ago. But unlike Bosch, Witkin’s story is not about exposing evil. On the contrary, his pictures embody an innocence of sorts. It’s easy to look away. To dismiss them as merely provocative. But look more deeply into the images (and into yourself,) and you may glimpse what Witkin is searching for.

“There’s two times in life where you’re totally innocent: before birth, and at death.”
– Joel-Peter Witkin
Joel-Peter Witkin - Paris Triad: "The Reader" - 2011

Joel-Peter Witkin – Paris Triad: “The Reader” – 2011

If you can gather the mental constitution to let go of your preconceptions and step through the looking glass provided here, you’ll be rewarded with a wealth of stunning images you’re not likely to forget. Witkin is certainly a master of his craft. He can invoke the spirits of Dante and Dalí and bend them to his will.

With a cadre of dedicated assistants, he often spends days sketching and laying-out his elaborate scenes before any photography occurs. He then spends as much time again working the negatives and prints into his unique mixture of photo, graphic, collage, and chemical reaction.

Joel-Peter Witkin - "Eternity Past, Berlin" - 1998

Joel-Peter Witkin – “Eternity Past, Berlin” – 1998

This exhibition at the Keitelman Gallery offers a fairly wide array of Witkin’s work ranging in time and subject matter. Many of his newer pieces include almost vibrant colors, not a characteristic often associated with his earlier work. And some of the photographs have been hand colored, where previous prints of the same image were only presented in black and white. Painting and collage elements have become more prevalent in Witkin’s arsenal of visual weaponry over the past ten years, proving the artist has not ceased evolving.

Joel-Peter Witkin - "Woman with Small Breasts" - 2007

Joel-Peter Witkin – “Woman with Small Breasts” – 2007

 Witkin is not an artist resting on his laurels. He continues to investigate the nature and meaning of human experience when many others have resorted to platitudes. With a well-weathered soul he still searches for that common innocence that lies within the essence of all things. And though it might remain just out of reach, Witkin keeps taking up the challenge.

~ LANCE ARAM ROTHSTEIN – FEBRUARY 9, 2014

Joel-Peter Witkin “Love and other Reasons”

at Keitelman Gallery Brussels runs January 24 through March 29 2014

for more details visit: http://www.keitelmangallery.com/

KEITELMAN GALLERY / RUE VAN EYCK 44 / B-1000 BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

TEL +32 2 511 35 80  / EMAIL KEITELMAN @ KEITELMANGALLERY.COM

OPENING HOURS: TUESDAY – SATURDAY 12:00 – 18:00
OR BY APPOINTMENT

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PHOTOGRAPHS WITH THE “LABEAURATOIRE” LOGO BY LANCE ARAM ROTHSTEIN

ALL OTHER IMAGES ARE FROM THE KEITELMAN GALLERY WEBSITE


Ray Johnson Fan Club hits Florida

RJFC sticker #42

RJFC sticker #42

Ray Johnson Fan Club hits Florida with trashy street art.
Read the article here: http://rayjohnsonfanclub.com/2014/01/29/fla2013/


RJFC Hits Brussels with Trashy Street Art

RJFC Hits Brussels! ~ Stickers #38, #39 & #40

Ray Johnson Fan Club sticker #40  Ray Johnson Fan Club sticker #39  Ray Johnson Fan Club sticker #38

On two separate trips to Brussels recently, I made these stickers using only trash found on the streets there.

RJFC sticker #38

RJFC Sticker #38 was completed using trash found on the streets of Brussels.

I made it while sitting at Le Pain Quotidien in the Galerie de la Reine in Brussels.

RJFC sticker #38 (left in Brussels)

I left it the same day on a wooden construction barrier beside the Montana Shop & Gallery Brussels along Rue de la Madeleine. (above)

RJFC sticker #39

RJFC Sticker #39 was also completed using trash found on the streets there

and made while sitting at Le Pain Quotidien in the Galerie de la Reine in Brussels.

RJFC sticker #39 (left in Brussels)

I left it the same day on a Taxi Parking sign in Brussels near Rue du Marché aux Herbes.(above)

RJFC sticker #40

RJFC Sticker #40 was completed a few weeks later, also using trash found on the streets of Brussels.

I made it while sitting at Café de la Presse on Avenue Louise near Ixelles in Brussels.

RJFC sticker #40 left in Brussels

I left it the same day on a Dior perfume advertisement outside the Ici Paris XL perfume shop

on Chaussée de Waterloo at the intersection of Rue Vanderkindere.

Brussels is a great place to find materials on the ground to work with and also a great place for stickers. I see new and interesting ones every time I visit.

More coming soon!

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Do you LIKE me? www.facebook.com/rayjohnsonfanclub
USING TRASH OFF THE STREETS TO MAKE ART ON THE STREETS.
I use only trash and found items to collage these handmade, signed & numbered stickers. They are made to compliment my larger works which in which I use trashy paperback book covers, record & magazine covers, CDs, posters, postcards and other mass-produced media as a base for my hand-cut & paste collages, which I usually leave out on the streets for anyone to enjoy (or destroy.)

See all my stickers here!

or find out more at: www.rayjohnsonfanclub.com SERIOUSLY TRASHY STREET ART!


La Biennale Sunday Highlights

After nonstop art excursions on Friday and Saturday, we planned to take it slightly slower on Sunday, but still managed to hit three worthwhile venues.
A morning photo walk in Castello along Fondamenta San Giuseppe brought me to a unique Chinese exhibit. “Indeterminacy” was a collateral event of La Biennale. This curated show included work from seven young Chinese artists.

The most accomplished of the work on show in this small, two-room gallery was by Zheng Jiang.
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Five intricate marker drawings on paper are presented by this artist. I originally thought they were color photographs shot through etched glass, but Zheng Jiang’s realist style works perfectly to give the sense of fading memories.
Look for more from this artist, and the others from this little show, in a dedicated post later this week.

 

Our main destination for the day was The Peggy Guggenheim Collection and their exhibition of Robert Motherwell’s Early Collages.

 

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This unique show runs through September 8th and focuses on his works from the 1940s.

 

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It was Peggy Guggenheim who led Motherwell to experiment with collage and this helped him to discover his own voice in the abstract expressionist movement.

 

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This exhibit offers a great chance to get up close an personal with the snips and clips Motherwell used to create these early compositions of paper. Compositions that would later influence his more well-known canvas paintings and printmaking.

 

Even though we promised ourselves we wouldn’t stray into the Venice Guggenheim’s permanent collection, (having seen it years before and hoping to spend the late afternoon relaxing at Lido Beach,) the lure of the Modern masters, and the iconic terrace proved too strong. We soon found ourselves joining the crowds to gaze at world-changing pieces by the likes of Picasso, Braque, Duchamp, Léger, Magritte, Kandinsky, Pollock, Rothko, van Doesburg, and of course my favorite: Mondrian.

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Mondrian – Composition No. 1 with Grey and Red 1938 / Composition with Red 1939

 

 

 

 

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The Guggenheim’s magnificent terrace overlooks Venice’s Grand Canal and allows you to sit beside an Alexander Calder sculpture while enjoying one of the most pleasant scenes of rush-hour traffic on the planet.

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After our abbreviated trip to the beach, and a leisurely dinner back in Castello on Via Garibaldi, we happened across our last little art experience at the Maldives Pavilion and their Portable Nation exhibit focusing on “DISAPPEARANCE AS WORK IN PROGRESS.”   Only allowed to view the works in the entryway due to an evening private party, we were especially intrigued by the interactive work of Patrizio Travagli concerning the memory of disappearance in his piece Pantheistic-Polifacetic.

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Though difficult to see in this photo, shot in the dark, cave-like room, Travagli’s sign instructs viewers to: “1) Photograph the Mirror. 2) Email the photo to the artist.” and then provides an address to send the pictures, which ostensibly will be presented in his Tumblr Blog.

 

Also in near the entrance was a large canvas by Wael Darwesh.

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Titled The Disappearance, it projects the feeling of a passing memory not quite captured. Like a dream you try to try to remember after you wake up but can’t seem to bring into focus.

Perhaps a fitting way to end our Venetian visit? The Maldives is an island chain in the Indian Ocean being heavily threatened by the rising tides of climate change. It is realistically possible that the seas will cover the islands within the next 15 years, forcing the entire population of Asia’s smallest nation to relocate. Of course Venetians are not unfamiliar with rising waters (or sinking lands) and also face an uncertain if less urgent predicament.

So thus we finished our trip to the 55th Art Biennale. And after a sleepless night of fruitful art-making myself, we caught a 4:25 AM vaporetto and cruised the Grand Canal in the starlight one last time, before returning to the real world, where busses, planes and trains carried us to cities that do not have major art exhibits around every corner.

But alas, memories were indeed captured, and I’ll be spending the coming days and weeks recounting them right here. So stay tuned for more!

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ALL IMAGES AND TEXT COPYRIGHT 2013 BY LANCE ARAM ROTHSTEIN FOR LABEAURATOIRE.
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